Russia stuff Here are a

Russia stuff

Here are a few things I remember from my Russia trip ten (egad) years ago (besides the gi-normous hairy mosquitoes and the gag-inducing toilets):

The teacher in the Russian language class I was in used to call the enter button on the computer keyboard the “coast is clear” button.

A lot of the graffiti was in English. One particular wall scrawl said “Fack Of” which I loved then, and still love now.

If you want to say, “Yes, that’s it” in Russian you say, “Da, eta kak.” When you’re 17 and you’re on a bus (av-toh-boos) and you hear people saying “Da, eta kak” over and over, well it’s really, really funny. Who knew riding Russian public transportation was the same as listening to a porno?

The money situation was so crazy back then that we had to carry our rubles in stacks – like the stacks of money you see bank robbers stuffing into bags. At one point, along with my “American money” I had 35,300 rubles stuffed in every pocket of my clothes. You know how much that was in dollars? 18. We had to carry backpacks just to lug around Russian money. Crazy.

Just for fun, here’s a little snippet from the journal I kept while I was over there (I’ve commented in italics to explain things):

“After school we ate at K’s flat where we were fed a strange pizza concoction by his psycho host mama. [it was made with sour cream and fresh tomatoes and not cooked] She kept, like, kissing him and stuff. [the host mama loved Korey. She wanted him to marry her daughter and take her off to America where they could live in a grocery store. I’m not kidding.] A and I thought she was trying to poison us. [she was jealous we might marry Korey and move into a grocery store] I wouldn’t doubt it – she’s nuts and her hair is purple.”

Here’s another snippet:

“After school we went to the military museum which consisted of a lot of airplanes and a fidgety old man with a mean pointer. [a stick pointer, not a dog] It was boring, but we made the best of it as always. After the museum our Russians tried to get rid of C who couldn’t go back to his host’s house because Ilia, his Russian, abandoned him for a vodka/sex party in the country. [Ilia was the bad boy Russian. He tried to make us go to a vodka/sex party one night. It was truly frightening] We ended up keeping C with us for a while longer and going to see a movie. [One thing I remember about the movie? There were dogs in the theatre. A pack of them.] It was a Godzilla movie and absolutely hysterical.”

As you can see, the Russia Trip was a non-stop barrel of fun. (I’m only being half-way sarcastic, because it really was fun. Have you ever seen a Godzilla movie translated from Japanese into Polish and subtitled in Russian where one guy does all the voices, even the monster roar? It rocks.)

cooking injuries mallets, knives, Kool-Aid

cooking injuries

mallets, knives, Kool-Aid
more like a torture chamber
than sunny kitchen

OK. I promised tales of kitchen drama, so here you go:

1) I used Kool-Aid for the haiku, but my first story is actually about Crystal Light pink lemonade. I don’t know if you’ve ever bought Crystal Light before, but it comes in these little round packages. They’re filled with powder. You dump the powder into a pitcher, fill with water and voila. Anyway, I was making pink lemonade when I had the brilliant idea to lean over the pitcher and inhale the lovely summertime smell of lemons. Doh. Clouds of pink lemonade powder infiltrated my eyeballs. I cried awful, stinging lemonade tears for at least two days. And, yes, I was an adult when I did this.

2) I had been laid off from my dot-com job for a week or so when I got the inspiration to dig out my Martha Stewart cookbook and whip up some gourmet type dinners. My first attempt: Gorgonzola and walnut-stuffed chicken breasts. It sounded easy enough: flatten the raw chicken until almost paper thin. Rub with the cheese and nuts, roll into tube like shapes and stick it all together with a toothpick. Not having an actual kitchen mallet, I decided to use a rolling pin to flatten the chicken. I grabbed the pin, held it in the air like a cartoon character maid chasing after Tom and Jerry, and I went nuts with the chicken. I took out all my “I just got laid off” aggression. And the chicken flattened very nicely. The dinner turned out pretty well and I was proud of my first gourmet cooking foray. Until the next morning when I couldn’t move my thumb. Wouldn’t budge. It just stood straight up like I was hitchhiking. And boy did it hurt. Eventually I had to go to the doctor it hurt so bad. I had X-rays, everything. They thought I had broken it. Turns out I tore the ulnar collateral ligament. Apparently people do this all the time while they’re skiing. Not a lot of people do it flattening chicken. 6 weeks in a splint, physical therapy, etc. and my thumb was back to new. I never made gorgonzola, walnut-stuffed chicken ever again. Even after my hubby bought me a kitchen mallet.

3) I’ll just put a lot of things here in three – these are the minor injuries.
– tip of thumb chopped off while cutting potatoes (just the very tiny top part – it healed nicely)
– stomach burned from cooking bacon in a bikini top (no scarring, just a minor burn)
– electric shock from stirring soup with a big rock on the bottom of it (don’t ask)
– scorched finger from flying hot oil while frying okra (this is my most recent injury. The blister is HUGE. It looks like a boil or a mysterious growth or something. Yuck.)

And that’s all I can think of for now. Maybe some other time I’ll tell you stories of all the stupid ways I’ve hurt myself while not in the kitchen (falling down stairs, falling up stairs, falling off bikes, falling down for no reason, etc.). It’s a wonder I’ve never actually broken a bone.

just figured this out I

just figured this out

I just realized today is Flag Day. That means on this day ten years ago I was on my way back from spending nearly a month studying in Russia. It was the most wonderful, horrible, stimulating, frightening, educational, embarrassing, eye-opening experience I’ve ever had.

I promise to tell you about it.

Wow. Ten years. Damn. I’m getting old.

what is it? all intents

what is it?

all intents and purposes
all intensive purposes


I burned the ever-living crap out of my finger
I burned the ever-loving crap out of my finger

I’m sure there are more of these but I have to go ice up my finger. When I get it numb enough I’ll post all of the ways I’ve hurt myself cooking seemingly harmless foods. You’ll laugh your ass off. But with me, not at me.


just thought of something To

just thought of something

To all you folks who get the Haiku of the Day email: I just realized that saying “your comments = 100% RDA of shite” is a mean thing to say. That’s not what I meant to do. I meant to imply that my blog is your 100% RDA of shite and that your comments are lovely. I’m a moron. Sorry about that.

And sorry to those of you who are reading this post thinking, “The hell is that crazy chick talking about?”

You can always sign up to get the email, if you want. Who can resist a steaming fresh haiku delivered to their inbox each and every day (except weekends and the random days I forget)? There aren’t even any ads or anything. And as you know, I’m way too worried about karma to ever use your email address for anything else. So sign up. Then you’ll understand any subsequent apologies I might have about being a moron on the email list.

haikuoftheday AT yahoo DOT com. Or you can just click on the link over there on the left.

glad that’s over with no

glad that’s over with

no sausage for you
sample lady ignores me
karmic comeuppance?

Got my HEB karmic comeuppance for the butting in line thing (see a few posts down). I’m glad that’s over with. (And, ultimately, I’m glad I didn’t get the sausage sample. Who needs to eat sausage at 10am anyway?)

On a totally different topic… I got a real live red roma tomato from the garden today! My husband calls it the $200 Tomato, because it’s the only one we’ve had so far out of about 12 tomato plants. But we did eat some cherry tomatoes the other day. And we had some home grown string beans for dinner the other night (even though we only had about four each). So it’s really like the $198 Tomato.

Here’s one more thing for you before I go. I know I was very quiet about all the Reagan stuff that just happened. I was afraid to post anything for fear it would turn into a rant about apartheid, budget deficits and puppet presidents. Even republicans deserve to have a peaceful funeral.

Anyway, what I wanted to say about all of this now that it’s over is something that I know is very obvious. But I’m going to say it anyway. The media is out of control. Specifically – television news. Out. Of. Con. Trol. Now I’m sure Reagan could have specified something in his will about wanting some privacy or whatever – or maybe he did. But come on. Helicopters following hearses to funeral homes? Live, close-up shots of a new widow weeping on the casket of her husband? Disgraceful. Distasteful. Shameful. I’m surprised there wasn’t a FOX news webcam put on the casket so we could get a live feed from the actual interment. I was horrified that that poor woman couldn’t say good-bye without millions of people munching on chips and salsa watching her do it.

And I know the family had a private service after all the cameras were put away. But still. Reality TV is one thing. Zooming in to catch the sunset reflecting off the tears of a shell-shocked and grief-stricken old woman is another. Even if she used to be the First Lady.

For all the talk of respect and admiration for Reagan last week, the intrusive coverage of his funeral was about as opposite a way to show it that I can think of. Put your flag at half mast. Say a little prayer. Watch the obits on TV, read Time Magazine’s retrospective, but give the man’s family some peace at a time of grief. Some things don’t have to be shown live on TV.

That’s all I’m going to say about it.

(by the way, the spell check tried to replace “webcam” with “woebegone”. Woebegane is damn right.)

crushes When I was a


When I was a kid I was never one of those girls to have a million Corey Feldman posters on her wall. I noticed the boys and had a few crushes on some movie stars (like the other Corey, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and of course, John Cusak) but nothing major. The interesting thing is that in between my boy crushes there were always a few girlie crushes, too. The boy crushes tended to veer towards the “what would it be like if he kissed me” thoughts, but the girlie ones never really did. Those crushes were always about how cool I thought the girl was, and how I wanted to be like her when I grew up (Wonder Woman, Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers, Daphne in Scooby Doo, etc.).

So as I’ve grown older, my boy crushes have matured as well as my girlie crushes. I’ve moved to Luke Wilson and Agent Scully, respectively. Well, actually, I’m still pining for Luke Wilson, but the Scully crush has faded. For a while I thought she could be replaced by Sidney Bristow, but now… well… I think my girlie crush has attached itself to Tina Fey.

Upon reflection, I realize that Tiny Fey is my first girlie crush that involves an actual person and not a character. It also doesn’t involve some version of sci-fi. Weird. But maybe that’s because I’m in a different place in my life. It’s less about what I want to be when I grow up, and more about what I want to do with my life right now. Or something. I don’t really know. What I do know is that good ol’ Tina is hysterically funny, she makes a bazillion dollars, and she has my dream job at SNL. She can be forgiven her actual real-world presence and her lack of FBI/Alien/conspiracy-ness.

I feel a little bad for abandoning Scully like this. It feels like we were together forever. And then Sidney never really had a chance. Her job is awesome, and I think I’d like to be her sometimes, but really… I’m way too smitten with Will (even though he’s not on the show anymore) to be able to devote enough time to Sid.

So Tina has won out. I hope she doesn’t mind. I promise not to stalk her. Unless following her car around, sending her letters, calling her on the phone and hanging up, and lurking outside the SNL stage door count as stalking.

Just kidding. I’m saving all of that for Luke.

confession I did a punk


I did a punk thing
but it was by accident
is karma still screwed?

OK. I did a bad thing today. But it was totally by accident. I butted in line at the HEB. That’s right. I hustled my cart in line and totally cut off an old couple and their grandkid who were there first.

Wait! Don’t hate me yet. Let me explain my side of the story.

I saw the kid run up to the cashier with a Coke in his hand. I thought the kid and his grandad were only buying the coke. So I pushed my cart in behind the grandad. Then the grandad turned and looked at me and said, “Oh, great, now we have to wait.” I thought he meant that the cashier was going to wash the conveyor belt or something and I didn’t understand why this would make us have to wait. Then the old dude walked around me and I saw the old lady huffing and puffing with a cart full of crap. The kid had just bolted ahead of the cart.

I swear I didn’t know the kid and the grandad were actually buying a ton of things or I would have never gotten in behind/in front them. I didn’t know I had butted until it was too late. Being a generally friendly and submissive person (ahem), I turned around to tell the old folks that they could have their place back. But, get this… they were so busy bitching about me they didn’t hear my offer. So I thought, “Ah, I’m not moving. I only have 5 things. They have twenty thousand.” (And just as an aside here, usually nice people with 20,000 items let the people with 5 items go first.) But like I said, these two were so busy bitching about me they didn’t hear my offer to let them get their stuff first. So I just bought my stuff and left.

Technically I was in the wrong. I didn’t really realize that until I got home and looked at my receipt and saw that the coke had already been rung up and then had to be deleted off my ticket.

So I’m sorry for butting at the HEB. I hope this doesn’t affect my karmic record.

But those people were whiny bitches.

poop You know how they


You know how they say if you buy your dog really fancy dog food he’ll poop less? Something about more of the ingredients being digested…

Do you think if I bought my son expensive, organic, top-shelf fruits and vegetables that he would poop less? Cause seriously. This kid is pooping like a beyotch.